Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In Quibdo

Well, I am now in Quibdo for the next two weeks to visit with Father Edison. As I write this his 12 year old daughter is being entertained by my computer and the foreignness of the language. Audra and I arrived yesterday around 2pm after a one hour flight from Bogotá. After a lunch of bean soup (one of my favorite foods in the world), fried fish, rice and salad we changed our cloths and Edison took us on a world-wind tour of Quibdo on foot. One of the stops included a university where we met with an anthropologist/lenguist and talked with him for about an hour. A this university he and his team are compiling anthropological records of the history of Choco and Quibdo which include books, poetry, singers, athletes, musicians, etc. This information will be shared with V.... University and is funded through England. It has been a long time that I have had to concentrate so hard to understand a conversation. I caught about two-thirds. I started to pick up more when the conversation turned to linguistics and the Pelenque (which means walled city). I was investigating Choco, Quibdo just the other day to investigate the local music. The professor has invited us to join him in a visit to Pelenque which is the last remaining slave settlment. Here, half of the citizens speak a spanish-franco creole that can not be understood by spanish speakers. This city has preserved its native african roots for hundreds of years. It would make my trip if I got to visit this city. After this meeting I was exhausted. Yet we did keep going at least for a few more hours. I think we got back to the house around 8pm. We will be staying with Edison and his family for the duration of our stay here. Along our visit we were inundated with students and professors clamoring to practice there English with us. Others might handle such a situation better than I do. However for me, it just gets overwhelming. Especially when I am already tiered and there are intense personalities demanding of your attention. A group of university students just dropped by wanting an impromptu English class. We will have to talk to Father Edison to help us organize something so that Audra and I can help but we are not taxed.
The life style here is very humble. Maybe half or better of the streets are paved. The houses are sturdily constructed and many are colorful. I am reminded that the very same resources are more comfortable in a cooler climate. Audra and I went to bed last night sticky from the heat and humidity. The humidity is what takes the cake here. It is almost always at 100% and it rains practically every day. Then the heavens opened up. All that evening as we were walking around we got to enjoy the distant lightning and thunderclaps that I have missed so much from Alabama thunderstorms. Around 6:30 Edison took us to Rio Calive and Rio Quito that merged together to form Rio Atrato. Because of the storm forming we were blessed with a fresh cool breeze. The river smells alive and fresh. With the constant breeze and the scent my mind was transported to the beach fishing with my dad. ( It made me miss my dad and the beach back home, but in the good memory way.) Thankfully the rain held off yesterday until we were back in the house. It poured even as we were going settling down to sleep, sticky and all. However I did sleep very well and much needed.
After having lunch with Edison this morning we were told that we would be teaching English to a school group in the morning and at a government college in the afternoons. I´ll be sure to let you know how that goes.

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